Dark Ascension Casual & Commander Review: Green

I don’t know why, but it seems like Dark Ascension is jammed packed full of green two-drops.  But the rest of the set provides some fascinating cards that green usually doesn’t get access to and I am very excited whenever green gets more card drawing.

Dark Ascension Commander & Casual Review
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Briarpack Alpha

I remember when this card was called Briarhorn and it was a lot better. Still, it’s a neat combat trick.

Clinging Mists

A well placed Fog can ruin a game for someone, and Clinging Mists is so close to doing just that. But at the end of the day, I think this card isn’t as good as Tangle. Yes, it does tap vigilant creatures – but only if you’re at 5 life or less!

Crushing Vines

From a flavor stand point, this card makes no sense. But I don’t care – the ability to combine Oxidize and Plummet together makes me utterly adore this card. It can take out a Door to Nothingness or an Avatar of Fury! If you are playing a Green Commander, you should be running this.

Dawntreader Elk

If you’re looking for a second (or fifth) Sakura-Tribe Elder, this is a pretty close replacement. It’s a solid utility card and does mana fixing while still adding to your list of offensive tricks. If you’re in need of mana acceleration or fixing, you could do a lot worse.

Deranged Outcast

This card is morbid but that still isn’t enough for me to like it. If you want to make some twisted black-green deck that eats humans, this guy is fine. Or you can look at him as a card that says 1G and sacrifice it to give a creature +2/+2 permanently.

Favor of the Woods

I thought this was a reprint, and then I remembered it was Gift of the Woods. Don’t play either of them.

Feed the Pack

This is a card I see as quickly becoming dangerous if left unchecked – especially with some twisted stealing engine. I would love to combine this with Overtaker and run around – maybe include a Doubling Season and Pandemonium for some real absurd interactions.


I’m really sad this isn’t a Plant. Still, the ability to get a 10/10 for G is nothing to sneeze at, but where I see this guy really shining is teamed up with Mimeoplasm.

Gravetiller Wurm

An 8/8 with trample for six is a solid bargain and can really mess up a kitchen table. If you have the removal to ensure he always comes in nice and big, then go for it. Gravetiller Wurm isn’t some excellent card, but he’s big and he’s mean.

Grim Flowering

Now this is the kind of card draw green needs! Late game, the ability to grab five to ten cards with ease makes me really like how this card feels. Far too many green cards that care about creatures in your graveyard, but this gives them a second purpose. If you’re running green and plan on winning by attacking, you will probably want to run this.

Hollowhenge Beast

That’s it?

Hunger of the Howlpack

A permanent Giant Growth? This is a mighty fine spell and is made better by being an instant. If you have a way to abuse these counters, you’re not going to find a better deal when it comes to +1/+1 counters.

Increasing Savagery

This should really be called Increasing Stupidity. Putting 10 counters sounds awesome, but this is a sorcery! And you can’t even divvy the counters up! But that doesn’t mean this card doesn’t have a purpose, if you can abuse +1/+1 counters, then this is a fine way to generate a lot of them.

Kessig Recluse

A bigger Thornweald Archer, I love the combination of Deathtouch and Reach. This card is a fine way to hold down the skies (or to give people an incentive to avoid you).

Lambholt Elder & Silverpelt Werewolf

I really like this werewolf. Sure, the human side is alarmingly weak as only a 1/2 but that is more than made up for by turning into a 4/5 card drawing machine. Just be careful that you don’t end up being the player who plays two spells since you’re drawing so much.

Lost in the Woods

I love the flavor of this card – you’re walking in the woods and BAM! A tree branch falls on your head. That said, I don’t think this card is good, unless you’re doing something very, very weird like playing Conspiracy on Forest with Dyrad Arbors.

Predator Ooze

I love this card more than I should. Any green mage knows a triple-green casting cost isn’t something to bat an eye at, you can still cast it on turn two with ease. And it is about time a good Ooze card got made! This card is just begging to get combined with a few proliferating effects (or Doubling Season) to quickly get out of hand. I quickly see it crushing players at kitchen tables.

Scorned Villager & Moonscarred Werewolf

This is an odd card. I generally dislike mana acceleration that costs more than G in Green. One benefit this card has though is that both sides will always give you at least one mana with ease. I do find the combination of vigilance and mana production to be interesting, but worry of how consistent this werewolf is.

Somberwald Dryad

That is some amazing artwork. It’s a shame this better-than-Grizzly-Bears card still isn’t exciting, seeing as for a slightly different cost you get:

Strangleroot Geist

Holy crap! Haste and undying on a green creature? I feel like this should be a black card named Nether Geist but I’m perfectly okay with it being green. I’ve loved the 10-Land Green deck and Strangleroot Geist fits in perfectly. He’s cheap, he’s amazingly efficient and black mages everywhere are going to hate him.

Tracker’s Instinct

Simic biowizards, this is the card you’ve been looking for! Effectively the Mulch for creatures, Tracker’s Instincts is a very interesting card. Green decks will use it to dig for a creature they want, while blue mages want it to mill themselves. The flashback is just icing on the cake since I would pay 3UG to grab two creatures from the top of my deck – especially when it is so easy to tutor for them!

Ulvenwald Bear

I do like that the +1/+1 counters can be put on any creature like a bigger Ironshell Beetle. But at the end of the day, it’s still a bear.

Village Survivors

Of the Fateful Hour cards, this one just doesn’t do it for me. Going down to 5 life to get a Serra’s Blessing on a 4/5 body doesn’t seem like a bargain.


Wow, this guy is big. Vigilance and trample is an odd combination, but that doesn’t stop him from being amazing. As a 5/4, he’s great on both offense and defense while the undying allows you to be even more reckless with him. The triple casting cost does limit him to mostly mono-green decks, but in Commander, I can see him controlling the ground.

Wild Hunger

When it comes to combat tricks, this works very well. There are certainly enough red-green Commanders to really make this work but what I love most is the red flashback cost. Brute Force has been a favorite of mine since Planar Chaos debuted, and this is a much more expensive take but adds in trample. I probably won’t run this all the time, but it really is making me want to rebuild a Fires of Yavimaya deck.

Wolfbitten Captive & Krallenhorde Killer

I don’t like this card. The Rootwalla ability just feels like a punishment. Going from a 1-drop to then requiring four mana to use? It just isn’t worth it.

Young Wolf

I love this card. It’s small, compact and works so well. Early game, it allows you to be more aggressive than normal since your risk is reduced to nearly nothing. Then it becomes a great game of whether or not you have a pump spell. It’s simple but works really well.

Top 5 Green Dark Ascension Cards for Casual & Commander

5. Grim Flowering
4. Strangleroot Geist
3. Crushing Vines
2. Vorapede
1. Predator Ooze

Dark Ascension Commander & Casual Review
White | Blue | Black | Red | Green | Multicolor, Artifact & Land